Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)
TITLE: Life's Little Twists
By David Nash
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This year is off to a good start. I needed to have a new furnace installed, my car recently decided it didn’t want to start, and my wife’s vehicle has been thinking about joining the club. With it being mid winter and a minus 20 degrees outside, our utility bills are at the highest they’ll likely be this year. Add to that a few other nagging items and, well, compared to last year…things are looking up!
I guess that means the past 12 months must have been quite a doozy. Let me be frank. At times my wife and I felt like we could die. That’s not literary fluff either. The rumblings began just before January 2010 and followed us deep into the year. I’m a pastor who had to close his church. I’m grateful it wasn’t due to a failure on my part, but it was tremendously painful none the less. I’ve heard many say it is like losing a child. I don’t know. But it was certainly one of the most difficult things my family and I have ever gone through.
What happens when visions die? Where do we turn when our dreams come to an end? Is there hope when someone shuts off all the lights? Dark places can cause you to think very deeply. Why? It’s easy to move forward when you know where you’re headed. But what if the target moves…or even vanishes? What then? Life’s little twists can have huge repercussions. Can I tell you what we did? We cried. We wept. We yelled. And ultimately, we approached the throne of God with a surrendered heart.
When life hurts, we need to turn our trust to Christ. It’s easier to blame Him though. Wasn’t He the one who led us this way? Wasn’t it His call we responded too? He shouldn’t have let this pain happen. Really? Too often we think we know the way things should have gone. We take our eyes off the Leader, and ask Him to follow instead. But that’s a risky place to be. It may be more natural to doubt, question, and run…but it’s safer to follow.
In the Psalms King David often wrote from a broken heart, but just as often he sang a song of victory. This man of God knew first hand the wonder and tragedy of life. He walked through the valley of the shadow of death and he also knew the comfort of the Masters’ touch. We can learn a lot from this king’s life and those of a myriad other biblical people. They experienced tragedy, hopelessness, and a loss of vision…yet they were victors. But how? They didn’t lose sight of what truly mattered. In the fog of disappointment they knew where to look. They remembered their faith.
I want to hold onto my God. When trouble screams louder than my kids, or when work stress threatens to pull me apart, I will lean deeply into His arms. This is the only place to go when all else becomes unstable. I am not my leader. Visions can come and go…but Christ remains. He knows the plans He has for me, plans for a future and a hope. He is faithful. If I place my hope in Him then the seasons of this life will simply draw me into a deeper place of trust, and ultimately, peace. Last year was quite a wild ride, I cried a lot, and I learned a lot. I don’t know what the next 12 months hold for my family and I, but I do know this much: this is going to be a good year…just like last year.
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